For The Economic Times- On Financial Advisors

In India there are more financial advisers than people

“You are in your 30s and you have a risk profile of a 60-year-old? Why? WHY?” a financial adviser told me recently in a ‘I am scolding you’ tone. I’d gone there to seek some investment advice but halfway through, I felt like I’d stolen someone’s tiffin box and was now being told to put my finger on my lips and kneel in a corner. After a while, I wasn’t sure if he was investing and I’d somehow lost his money or I was the client seeking some basic information on investment options.
Read it here:

For – India’s Last Week

Why are West Indies cricketers acting like characters in a 1980s Bollywood movie?
Plus, everyone’s buying a football team.
Anuvab Pal
Yesterday · 12:30 pm

Last week, in a situation hitherto unknown to world cricket, the West Indies team touring India decided to leave mid- way through the tour with a few apologies. Something to do with not being paid enough (or at all). So, like 1980’s mill workers in a Bollywood movie (any Amitabh Bachchan father character), they said, hell with it, I’m not working.

It is quite brilliant (and very funny, although not to the players), that a labor union struggle has moved into a cricket stadium. It is logical. Factory workers express their rights in their place of work and stop fixing bolts in a car. Sportspeople can only revolt in their factory ‒ the field. That they didn’t hold up placards with photos of Mao and Che Guevara singing We Shall Overcome and go on strike mid-third over is, I suppose, a blessing. Not knowing the inner goings on of the West Indian cricket board, Indian fans could perhaps interpret it as, “Wow, they dislike Dhoni this much?”

It could set an odd precedent in world sport. Some Chelsea striker or Real Madrid center forward, could, in their respective club leagues, choose to freeze mid-attack on the goal, and say he’d only carry on if his contract was re-negotiated. Or an Olympic athlete could in the 100 meters dash, choose to run in the opposite direction to his competitors to express unhappiness over his incremental bonus. Or a Libyan gymnast could say, “Right, I am not getting down from these ropes unless I am given asylum in Europe.” The can of worms now stands open.

For, On India’s Nobel Laureate

Why should India know Kailash Satyarthi? We have cleavage debates to worry about
Plus, Mark Zukerberg inspires India’s headline writers.
We’ve had a few Nobel winners. Tagore, CV Raman, Mother Teresa (like all people from Calcutta, she was European, so it counts), Amartya Sen. We’ve never had one where the country went, “Um, who?”

And there is very good reason for that. We are busy. Busy busy with important things. There are people upset with cleavage photography. There are debates to be had whether involuntary cleavage photos pointing out said locale or voluntary cleavage film promotion photos linking cleavage to unrelated film release by star PR is apt. Abishek Bachchan is telling us to play football, sitting chief ministers are going to jail for having servants on standby with Horlicks (which I think is a noble profession, as standing professions go), people are having to write witty comments on an online store’s big sale day goof-up (a very urgent need), there’s the actress Preity Zinta telling people to stand up when patriotic songs are played or risk eviction. Where is our time to focus on Kailash Satyarthi, our latest Nobel winner, telling us children should be in school instead of washing cars and twirling in circuses?

There just isn’t the time.

Swedish people have time to notice these things. It’s cold over there. They are at home, snowing outside, looking at Indian kids at traffic signals or running around with empty plastic bottles, thinking why are those children not in a school and instead delivering Kellogg’s and Bisleri to rich people? Shouldn’t kids not have to be roaming streets half-naked? Who is helping them? That Kailash guy. Why didn’t anyone locally notice? Let’s get him over here and give him a double espresso and a medal.

Look, we did notice, ok. We aren’t caught up in our upper middle class cocoons. Absolutely not. In fact, many Indians have seen Slumdog Millionaire, some of them even twice. About 45% of our elite know that Dharavi is not a Maharshtrian house wife.

Some have even lowered their power windows and shared a Kurkure packet with said underprivileged child. People donate regularly to charities like Pratham, Doosra, Andha (blind), Bhook (Hunger), Akanksha and Anokhi, even if some of these are women’s clothing stores.

We would absolutely like to help him organise a fundraiser for the cause. It is not like urban India cannot understand this problem. Every summer, when wealthy parents can’t find things for their kids to do, apart from play on their I-Pad as they search maddeningly for speech and drama classes, Shaimak Davar dance classes, foreign language classes, swimming classes, they totally understand what its like for a child to be loitering without a goal.
Read it here:

Times Of India- The Empire Review, Epicenter, New Delhi/Gurgaon

Stand-up comedian Anuvab Pal’s show, Empire – a big success in Gurgaon
Sameen Husain,TNN | Oct 7, 2014, 12.00 AM IST

A Bengali man with a British hangover – that was the theme of stand-up comedian Anuvab Pal’s show, Empire, which left the audience in splits.

Anuvab took a dig at a variety of things, from the debates over the best biryani in town, to the Anglican names of the buildings in the NCR and the tag lines that go with it. We caught up with Anuvab and he told us, “The best thing about performing in Gurgaon is that the audience here gets it. You can talk about builders, fashion and America, and the people here can relate to it. My shows in Gurgaon see a lot of the young corporate crowd, and it is definitely one of my favourite places to perform.”

Read it Here: